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frodus
21 April 2011, 1623
So, I'm getting closer to getting waste deep in my moto electrical system and was wondering about people's thoughts on Gauges.

My Curtis 1238 comes with a spyglass, and displays Amps (pack?), Voltage (pack), RPM (motor), MPH/KPH (rpm*multiplier), Motor Temp.

My elithion comes with a SOC meter that connects to the BMS Controller and displays (via bargraph) SOC, Fault LDD, Current limit LED (charge or discharge is being limited), Load On LED (ignition is on), Enabled (contactors are on) LED and Source LED (charging).

Now, the Spyglass actually fits right in where the engine temperature goes (right side):
http://www.evfr.net/coppermine/albums/10-3-09/normal_IMG_2244.jpg

I'd like to keep the original speedo (it's mechanical and fairly accurate from what we could tell). Now, the tachometer isn't being used. It can be driven with a PWM signal, so I was thinking maybe I'll do something with the current and install a shunt and a V to frequency converter to measure amps, like we did on eVFR 1.0.


So I'm thinking that I'd install the SOC meter somewhere, leave the speedo, wire the tach to display amps (1000RPM = 100A or something) and wire in the Curtis spyglass and keep it set on either Pack voltage or motor temperature. Ideas?

Now, what other gauges, if any, are needed for normal driving?




I do still plan on having the curtis canbus and the elithion canbus wired into a device to convert to bluetooth.... but that would only log the cell data and record controller data. Its not really for "driving", and the Elithion SOC display would alert me to any issues.

So what am I missing? Anything?


Keeping it stock is more and more apealing the more I think about it.

DaveAK
21 April 2011, 1634
I'm keeping mine stock. Speedo is mechanical and stays as is. I'm converting the tachometer to battery side amps. The reason being is simple - it's a large display and just like a tachometer with it's red line it shows you pretty clearly how much grief you're giving the batteries. I don't need to have it tell me an actual amp draw, but if it's up in the range I know to be careful. I'll calibrate it to something useful though. Then I have a fuel gauge which I'll convert to SOC, (through coulumb counting) and my temperature gauge I'll use to indicate controller temperature, as I think this will be the best indicator of controller condition. I have the oil pressure light to warn me of LVC/HVC events. I might start slowly flashing this light to indicate a low SOC.

I really don't think I need anything more than that for normal riding. I will however capture just about every bit of data I can via a data logger so that I can use the bike as a rolling test bed.

teddillard
21 April 2011, 1636
you KNOW I'm a simple, simple man... but still. This is all I need:

http://a2.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/216532_2050399739124_1218396040_32528889_8017927_n .jpg

Speedo, VM, analog so you can read it easy. I have a red light my buddy David O'Brien set up that goes on when the voltage drops. That's all I want to see when I'm riding.

I rode the Enertia for about a week, with like 4 panels of display. I actually thought it was dangerously distracting.

Here's the video of the ride. At 1:20 you see me doing the stupidest thing. Hitting the readout select in traffic:

<iframe title="YouTube video player" width="640" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/YfF7t_6Po2E" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

BaldBruce
21 April 2011, 1922
Like Dave, I was planning on keeping the stock speedo. Adding a CA for acces to all the other monitoring. Kinda leaning now to changing to a dual analog display like Teds or Eds mounted right on the tank. The stock speedo range is WAY to large for the speeds I'll be traveling......

podolefsky
21 April 2011, 2013
My stock speedo went to 200 mph. Not really very useful. On my stripped down bike, the huge gauge cluster didn't look right anyway, so I scrapped it for a Trailtech Vapor. I mostly use it just as a speedo, but it also has a trip meter, odometer, and temperature readings for both ambient and motor (I have a temperature sensor on my motor). It has a high temp warning that I have set to the motor spec from D&D. LEDs at the top of the unit light up yellow for temp warning then red for danger. Has a backlight. It also has a clock :)

I want to repurpose the tach as an ammeter, but haven't gotten that working yet. My BMS display does voltage, current, and SOC. SOC is both a bar graph and numeric, so kind of like an analog gauge. Current is only numeric, which is why I'd like the tach to also show current so I can see it at a glance.

BMS display can show all of my battery data, cell voltages, temperature, alarm states, and programmable BMS settings by fiddling with the 5 buttons to the right. It's nice to have access to all that stuff, but have just V, A, and SOC on the main screen (to keep it simple).

Dashboard lights are 4 LED's for turn signals, high beam, and power on (red led is on when the contactor is closed so I have some indicator that the bike is on).

I wouldn't mind having a little readout and control for my Alltrax, so I could see motor amps, change settings on the fly, and record data...but in reality I probably wouldn't use it that much. Something under the seat that was out of view but easy to access would be perfect.

[edit] Ted's head is probably exploding right now. :O

http://www.colorado.edu/physics/EducationIssues/podolefsky/EV_project/gauges.JPG

http://www.colorado.edu/physics/EducationIssues/podolefsky/EV_project/bms_display.JPG

Coninsan
22 April 2011, 0146
On my GSX-R I'm gonna have a Large display CA and a few LED's. Displaying Volts, Current, Speed (KPH) and Ahrs consumed on the CA and power, lights and charge in the LED's. This keeps all the factors I need in one place, neat and visible. To many can be redundant and very confusing at times, I want to keep it simple to avoid a too-many-number-brain-meltdown on the freeway :eek:

One the T250 however, I'm using nothing but the stock speedo and a crude SOC meter (a analog meter that displays volts from 100-120, roughly 0-100% SOC)
I'm also gonna use Cell-logs to monitor cell voltage on each pack, but these aren't gonna be visible on the dash, rather they sit on the packs themselves.
This is the absolute minimum, while I would like to view volts and current such guages just doesn't fit into the cafe racer look.

Imo you need nothing more than a speedo, a battery-side volt- and current-meter and way to view SOC. Most other numbers are redundant and shouldn't be displayed on the dash, to much going on at the same time and to big a chance for misreads or confusion. At most add a thermometer.. :rolleyes:

teddillard
22 April 2011, 0244
[edit] Ted's head is probably exploding right now. :O


yeah, but I'm pretty sure that's the coctails last night... :O

I had an analog VM in the tank, but found it impossible to look down when I was accelerating hard. On a twisty road, I don't like to look down when honkin' on bobo. Yet, that's what that meter is for - honkin' induced voltage drop. The alarm light was to get my attention without me having to look away- red light flashes on honk. Bad volts.

Here is what that looked like, note foreground meter where fuel filler used to be:

http://evmc2.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/instruments.jpg?w=640

I also found it to be a complete PIA to have wires going to the tank. Especially when trying to show people the bike, I really wanted a tank that just pops off easily. Yes, I did have quick-disconnects, but even then it often made the difference between showing the controller and just saying **** it.

Maybe its different where you ride, but around here there are cars aiming at me and turns in the road... plenty to keep my attention. When do you actually look at all these displays? Seriously, not trying to be a jerk. On the Enertia I found it to be pretty useless, other than the SOC meter. New England riding is different than most other places, I'll admit... I didn't understand the Boss Hoss until I saw a road in El Paso TX, either... :D

edit: Thermometer. Yes. I'm putting a temperature sensor on the batteries with a very simple readout. I'm hoping to find a simple bar-type, with red at the high range so I can get the hell off the bike if the lipo goes critical.

EVcycle
22 April 2011, 0256
I like it simple too. No need for all that much info. I normally have a pack volt meter but added the 12 volt meter
since this bike had a bunch of extra electrical (GPS and such) compared to the last few.

Interesting enough I drove the Zap in today (Happy Earth day!) and all it has is a large analog voltmeter and a warning light
if I am dropping the pack voltage too low.

It is great to have all that info, but I would think data collecting it would be more useful.

podolefsky
22 April 2011, 0740
I almost never look at anything except speed (and if I left my blinker on). Occasionally I look at amps, but that's only when I'm curious and it's safe. When I'm stopped, I look down at other things like SOC and voltage.

It seems like a lot, but your brain learns to ignore things it doesn't need to look at. It's called selective attention, we do it all the time.

One of my favorite quotes:

"Complexity is in the world, simplicity is in the head." -Don Norman

teddillard
22 April 2011, 0749
It seems like a lot, but your brain learns to ignore things it doesn't need to look at. It's called selective attention, we do it all the time.

Yeah... ummm. I guess the guy who double-pumped me at an intersection before pulling out in front of me so I'd hit his front end must have deselected me.

Sorry, but after 40+ years of riding I look at anything competing for my attention to be flat-out dangerous. Yes. I'm that old. (Almost as old as Richard.) :O But damn I look good.

http://a2.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/66358_1691083636446_1218396040_31890010_7861366_n. jpg

billmi
22 April 2011, 0918
Iím running a Cycle Analyst, so without pressing any buttons Iíve got speed, voltage, amp draw and a display that alternates between trip odometer, and trip total amp-hour draw. IMHO, thatís more than enough for normal riding. Itís all good for diagnostics, but for regular riding, speed and total Ah would be fine.

http://www.elmoto.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=632&d=1292184170

The cluster of four lights in the upper right is a yellow turn signal indicator, blue high-beam indicator, green Kelly controller LED status, and red MiniBMS alert. The arc-reactor in the tank is illuminated when the MiniBMS is receiving 12v power and not in alert condition (normal riding, and during charging up until an HVC). None of those are really a distraction, as thereís nothing to read, itís just a flash of color when/if needed.


Iíve got three Cell-logs, and the wiring harnesses for them are in place, but they will probably be mounted down on the side of the bike, where they can be used for diagnostics, rather than be a distraction on the road. Even if you tune something out most of the time, that doesn't mean it can't become a distraction. When I high-sided my 750 last year, it was because I had a drop in power (which I later found to be caused by a cracked fuel line sucking air) and was distracted by checking my trip odometer and one of my pet****s before glancing back up to see the van that had hit its brakes in front of me. I don't want to be tempted to check my Cell-Logs if I hit LVC - I just want to know that there's been an LVC and I need to pull over to check things out.

billmi
22 April 2011, 0924
pet****s

Really? Somehow an innocuous sounding fuel system part name actually starts to sound dirty when it is censored.

jpanichella
22 April 2011, 0933
I almost never look at anything except speed (and if I left my blinker on). Occasionally I look at amps, but that's only when I'm curious and it's safe. When I'm stopped, I look down at other things like SOC and voltage.

It seems like a lot, but your brain learns to ignore things it doesn't need to look at. It's called selective attention, we do it all the time.

One of my favorite quotes:

"Complexity is in the world, simplicity is in the head." -Don Norman

Good old Don Norman! I read The Design of Everyday Things a few years back. A great resource for those looking to develop the fundamentals of "user experience".

My plan is to go the simple analog speedo with large screen Cycle Analyst route. I'll keep my Cell Logs where the original gas cap door was, and only have them exposed when I feel the need to look at them (IE charging and troubleshooting/logging). I like Ted's approach but seek more information, in particular AH used, because the voltage of lithium cells remains relatively constant until they dip dangerously low, or atleast that's the impression I had. So a simple voltage gauge is only so useful when using lithium cells, as far as I can tell.

I agree though, have too many lit gizmos can be distracting during riding.

podolefsky
22 April 2011, 0948
Good old Don Norman! I read The Design of Everyday Things a few years back. A great resource for those looking to develop the fundamentals of "user experience".

My plan is to go the simple analog speedo with large screen Cycle Analyst route. I'll keep my Cell Logs where the original gas cap door was, and only have them exposed when I feel the need to look at them (IE charging and troubleshooting/logging). I like Ted's approach but seek more information, in particular AH used, because the voltage of lithium cells remains relatively constant until they dip dangerously low, or atleast that's the impression I had. So a simple voltage gauge is only so useful when using lithium cells, as far as I can tell.

I agree though, have too many lit gizmos can be distracting during riding.

Yes! Another Don Norman fan.

I think about complexity and user interface every day in my job (designing educational computer simulations). I'm actually writing a paper on complexity and learning right now. The basic idea is the less things isn't necessarily simpler...the key is using designs that match peoples' intuitions.

I have to admit, I'm an information junkie. I do appreciate simplicity in the sense of minimizing the number of things to look at...but people who see my bike dig the electronic gizmos, which is a big part of my reason for putting it all front and center. Look at the display in any hybrid, the Leaf or the Volt. People want a futuristic EV to have lots of gizmos going on. (I agree this isn't necessarily a good idea, as I watch people almost drive their Prius off the road checking their regen display).

That said, another Don Norman idea is "emotional design". That is, people obviously want to have things that look nice, but they are actually better at using things that they find visually appealing. So it's a balance of having the gizmos and geek factor, but keeping it aesthetic at the same time. That's pretty much the philosophy behind my entire bike.

teddillard
22 April 2011, 1013
Interesting. This is my first exposure to Norman, and I have to look into it deeper, but my first impression is he has a fairly crappy website for someone who preaches what he's preaching.

Second impression is that what he's talking about is a fairly contradictory rationalization for dealing with excessive functionality driven largely by Marketing and Sales decisions- realities of modern industrial design. (...resulting in products that don't do what they were designed to do, e.g., the iPhone. A phone you can't talk on.) The display on the Enertia, to bring this back to topic, is a good example of a product that is doing a lot "because it can", and because it gives the marketing guys feature bullet points. As for riding the thing, it makes it neither better, safer nor more enjoyable.

Understand... I come at design from a completely different place. Art, photography, graphic design, architecture... where the sensibility is rooted much more in the traditional visual arts and what I consider (in my snootery) to be significantly more valid - dating back to the ancient Greeks' philosophy of beauty and design. (To quote Pablo Casals: "...veddy clean, veddy clean!") You have to be standing on some pretty strong ground to say that simple, elegant design and function is not better, for me to buy it.

But I will read him. With an open mind, even.

...'course, I still have a radio with two knobs. ON/OFF Volume, and the tuner.

DaveAK
22 April 2011, 1018
If we want to nitpick this crap then a speedo is all you need, but only because it's a legal requirement.

frodus
22 April 2011, 1023
Thanks guys!

Sounds like KISS is better.

Stock Speedo, fit the spyglass in the temperature gauge area, and maybe repurpose the tach for Current. I will eventually do an android device for connecting to the batteries and controller, but that's a ways off.

podolefsky
22 April 2011, 1027
Yeah, you should read Design of Everyday Things, and also Emotional Design, and his new book Living with Complexity. He says there's a difference between something being complex and being complicated. Complicated is bad...complex is sometimes OK, if it is still highly usable.

The iPhone actually does what it was made to do quite well...that is, it isn't a phone. It's a miniature computer that can also make calls. (And the reason it didn't do the call making very well isn't a design flaw, it's AT&T's crappy network). But I totally agree that you shouldn't load up a display just because you can. Most marketing people don't understand good design.

Clean is good, but too clean can lead to bad design. Here's an example...which set of switches is "cleaner"? Which is going to be easier to use (in terms of turning on/off the lights you actually want to)?

The reason this is a great example is that almost everyone has walked into a room with a row of switches like this (and probably had no idea which switch to hit). In my building, we have a set of about 12 switches and some of them turn on lights in rooms you can't see. I've been working there for 10 years and I still don't know which is which...

http://ts3.mm.bing.net/images/thumbnail.aspx?q=810744616822&id=00f5ef7e061bffbf3f786fe0fc557cfb

Another great example is a row of glass doors that all look exactly the same and have no indicators for which way they swing. Aesthetically stunning, but it will make people confused and frustrated just trying to enter a building (especially if some of the doors open one way, and some of the open the other way). I'm not making this up, it's in Norman's book.

jpanichella
22 April 2011, 1029
I think it boils down to simple honesty when it comes to design. Does this object function the way it communicates how it SHOULD function. And I see Ted's point, the minimalist style of the early Braun products (thank you Dieter Rams), and what Jasper Morrison calls Hyper Normal. It shouldn't even look designed, it should simply be.

But at the end of the day when we're done j*rking off about design, we're building bleeding edge projects here, and having the ability to monitor all these functions is protecting our investment. It's up to us to decide when we should be monitoring them and when we shouldn't. If somebody were to develop an analog way to monitor SOC with a very high degree of accuracy, I'd be all over it. For right now I want to be able to have as much data as I can so I don't blow anything up or hurt the batteries.

podolefsky
22 April 2011, 1057
But at the end of the day when we're done j*rking off about design, we're building bleeding edge projects here, and having the ability to monitor all these functions is protecting our investment. It's up to us to decide when we should be monitoring them and when we shouldn't. If somebody were to develop an analog way to monitor SOC with a very high degree of accuracy, I'd be all over it. For right now I want to be able to have as much data as I can so I don't blow anything up or hurt the batteries.

I like the idea of "just what you need, and no less."

teddillard
22 April 2011, 1129
... when we're done j*rking off about design, ...

(painfully close to what I hold a degree in... HAHahahahaa)

teddillard
22 April 2011, 1223
So this sent me down a rabbit-hole of design history and all that. Thankfully, because otherwise today, well, let's just say I'm looking forward to the weekend. But it took me to "form follows function" of course- Frank Lloyd Wright and all that. And it occurred to me, the thing about LCD displays is they're just not very pretty, are they? Outrageously functional, I mean, look at all that cool stuff you can read out, right? But, as a Maine friend of mine is fond of saying, not one bit of pretty to it. So the form has followed the function, and left us with butt-ugly.

The other thing about analog gauges is that they allow you to read stuff as a spacial, not a numerical value. That is, you see RPM or volts or speed as a point in space, or a volume... rather than a number. When I look at a clock, and figure how much time I have to do something, I'm thinking of the space between where 4:10 is and where 4:50 is. That 40 minutes represents a volume. When 10 minutes goes by, I've lost 1/4 of my available volume, like water in a glass. On the voltmeter, same thing, 72V is "full", and as the needle drops it shows less capacity, but in a spacial way.

So yeah. I don't much like LCD displays with numbers, because it actually takes me a step to figure, oh, 54V means I've used up so much capacity. The Brammo display has a range capacity indicator that is a bar, like a thermometer/progress bar thing, so I can't believe I'm the only one on the planet who thinks this way.

And did you know Bucky Fuller lived in Milton MA? I did not know that. Milton is the next town over from me. Wonder if I can find a Dymaxion car in the woods in the Blue Hill Reservation...

I like strawberry ice cream. :p

EVcycle
22 April 2011, 1226
It is in the eye of the beholder, or the mind of the rider. Some like the new and full of data digital and need everything to .00001.

Some just need a reference. A quick glace and the needle is not pointing...the bad way. :)


I like Chocolate....

podolefsky
22 April 2011, 1323
I agree, it takes an extra step to go from 65 V to "half full". That's poor design. But if you know you don't want to go below 68 V to avoid LVC, its nice to have the precise number.

My LCD uses a bar to represent SOC, which is a good choice. But there's no absolutely better display. It depends on the situation and how closely the information you need maps to the representation.

I like 93.7% dark chocolate...

teddillard
22 April 2011, 1335
I honestly think it all gets back to whether you're trying to do everything, or you're trying to do one thing as well as it can be done. Obviously, it's always somewhere between those two places.

For the record, I will be putting some sort of more detailed logging device under the tank. Out of sight. Which is an affront to me. :)

I like THIS MUCH strawberry ice cream
<-------------------------- --------------------------->

billmi
22 April 2011, 1510
The other thing about analog gauges is that they allow you to read stuff as a spacial, not a numerical value. That is, you see RPM or volts or speed as a point in space, or a volume... rather than a number. When I look at a clock, and figure how much time I have to do something, I'm thinking of the space between where 4:10 is and where 4:50 is. That 40 minutes represents a volume. When 10 minutes goes by, I've lost 1/4 of my available volume, like water in a glass. On the voltmeter, same thing, 72V is "full", and as the needle drops it shows less capacity, but in a spacial way.


That's not the fault of LCD technology, though, it's the fault of just using alphanumeric LCD displays instead of graphic LCD displays, but I totally agree with the idea behind what you are saying, since I think volumetrically as well. The thing to consider though - not everyone does. Some people deal with numbers as pure abstracts without linking them to volume. I don't, which is why calculus kicked my butt in school, once the formulas become too complex for me to visualize the curves I was toast, but people who saw the numbers as pure abstracts could plug the integrals in right where they fit. The flip side is I have no problem visualizing how to wrap 2D shapes into 3D space and doing 3D modeling, or sketching 3D shapes in 2D.

Fuller was the man. He Norman Bel Geddes and Syd Mead have long stood as my design heroes. I've been quite frustrated lately, as I've been unable to find one of my signed Mead prints and I want to hang it in my new office.

teddillard
22 April 2011, 1532
Some people deal with numbers as pure abstracts without linking them to volume.

I had a studio manager going through a career crisis, ex programmer, Mathematician by degree. Amazing mind, and as far as numbers went, it was fascinating to watch her face while she was working on a problem. When she was thinking about math and numerical relationships, it was like she went into place, with space and volume. ...a room where she moved the numbers around, that's how she described it. The numbers to her were like a hammer and a piece of steel to me... or as far as my gauges go, a chunk of aluminum and my teeth. :D

podolefsky
22 April 2011, 1552
This thread is getting philosophical real quick - but I like it. This is the kind of stuff I study, that is, how we think in metaphors like volume and distance. So voltage is a volume, an amount of stuff. Time is a distance (as in "my birthday is a long way off"). I think that mathematicians and folks that think in terms of abstract quantities do the same thing, it's just that the metaphors aren't apparent to them...they're subconscious.

Good design capitalizes on the cognitive metaphors that people already know, like "red is danger", or "clockwise is more".

There's this book called Where Mathematics Comes From, by George Lakoff and Raphael Nunez. It traces how learning mathematics can be traced from the basic cognitive ability to tell the difference between one thing and two things, to counting, all the way to understanding e^(i*pi) = -1, all as a series of metaphors.

teddillard
07 June 2011, 0352
Got mine done...

https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/248715_2180081701092_1218396040_32709468_4298712_n .jpg

That's my low voltage warning LED that my buddy David O'Brien made up for me.

Allen_okc
07 June 2011, 0558
Thanks to Ed - my cluster looks a lot better than it did...